Lucas began his professional career in 1969, when at the age of 16 he played guitar for Philadelphia International Records' star Billy Paul.
Lucas worked with Paul until 1972, when Miles Davis called and invited Lucas to play guitar with his new band. Lucas toured with the trumpeter throughout the U.S., Europe, South America and Japan, while also recording on Davis's trailblazing albums Get Up With It, Agharta and Pangaea (Columbia) through 1976. While in the Davis band, Lucas began a creative partnership with percussionist James Mtume. The pair joined Roberta Flack's band in 1977, writing for her and Donny Hathaway the No. 2 Pop hit and gold single, "The Closer I Get To You" The album also went gold. In 1980, Lucas composed with Mtume the Top 20 Flack/Hathway hit, "Back Together Again".
In 1979, Lucas further tapped into his Midas pop touch, producing and composing with Mtume a breakthrough album for Stephanie Mills, What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin' (20th Century/PolyGram). The album went Gold; there were four major hit singles from the album, including the Top 10 R&B and Top 20 Pop title song, and the Top 10 Pop and R&B "Never Knew Love Like This Before," which achieved Gold status, and won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.
Striking out on his own, Lucas produced the self-titled debut album for Madonna (Sire/Warner Bros.). He also composed "Borderline," her first Top 10 Pop single from the album, and the smash track, "Physical Attraction." The Madonna album went triple Platinum (and still going strong, of course), with songs that reached the Top 10 worldwide.
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